Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs


More HOPE, and HELP, for Haiti, but Congress Still Holds Back

Nearly four months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, and after receiving a letter from former Presidents William Clinton and George W. Bush, the U.S. Congress seems prepared to expand access for Haitian apparel exports with the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act. This is important because apparel is one of the few sectors, outside of construction, that can quickly create formal sector jobs for thousands of desperate Haitians, particularly women.

Senate Committee Passes State Department Authorization: Fixes MCC Country Categories

This is a joint posting with Casey Dunning.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a State Department authorization bill for the first time in five years this week, which covers a variety of programs at the State Department, USAID, MCC, and related agencies. The bill includes key policy fixes for the MCC, including redefining the MCC’s low income candidate group as the 75 poorest countries – the recommendation we recently proposed.

Mr. Roodman Goes to Washington

I testified yesterday before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. The subject of the hearing was "Promoting Small and Micro Enterprise in Haiti." The hearing's web page lists all the witnesses and includes our written testimony and full video.

Some people were afraid of what I would say:

Is 'Feed the Future' the Future of Foreign Aid?

Alleviating global hunger is a moral and national security challenge, said Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN) and just about everyone else at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on global hunger and food security last week . While global food security was the main focus, many were listening closely to testimony from Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew and USAID Administrator Raj Shah for clues about what’s in store for foreign aid reform. The hearing didn’t disappoint on either front.

Esther Duflo’s Clark Medal Is a Great Sign for Development Research and Policy

This is a joint post with Vijaya Ramachandran.

A hearty congratulations to Esther Duflo, winner of this year’s John Bates Clark Medal! Since 1947 the American Economic Association has awarded the medal to “that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.” In our profession, the Clark Medal ranks second only to the Nobel Prize, and about 40 percent of medal winners have gone on to win a Nobel. Esther, a 37-year-old native of France, richly deserves this platinum honor.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (Short Time Passing)

This is a joint post with Christopher Ksoll.

Since the volcanic eruption in Iceland on April 14th, we have been inundated with stories about flight disruptions. Demi Moore can no longer travel to the premiere of her new movie in London. The opening of “Iron Man 2” has been moved from Europe to Los Angeles. Millions of passengers have been stranded in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia, as airports from Manchester to Munich to Milan were closed. And now the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is urging European governments to find ways to “compensate” the airlines for over USD$ 1 billion in lost revenues.